When you reclaim your freedom,
and restore the country to its Constitution
when you are free to criticise your government
and no one dubs you anti-national,
Will you stand for my Azadi?

When you break the chains of fascism
and take charge of your holy house,
when you treat each other equal
and live like old friends coming together,
Will you stand for my Azadi?

When your schools are free to teach the truth
and children free to mingle no matter their costume,
When you don’t get killed for a piece of meat
and let live if an unworthy touches your feet,
Will you stand for my Azadi?

When you breathe free, roaming the streets
and no one robs you of your existence,
When no one asks you, to prove, you are you
and your ancestors are safe in their tombs,
Will you stand for my Azadi?

When your history is what is true
and no assassin is heeded as a martyr
When your courts don’t judge to appease
and no one is hanged to satisfy your conscience,
Will you stand for my Azadi?

When no one is tortured for their faith
and fake encounters are myths of yore
When women feel safe to be on their own
and no monster rips out the wombs anymore,
Will you stand for my Azadi?

I hope you don’t proclaim then,
you are better off with the nation
The idea of freedom is just an illusion
How dare you think of such mockery?
Will you still stand for my Azadi?

–by Kashmiri psychiatrist & poet Mudasir Firdosi, published in Caravan Daily

Were the 17 foreign diplomats visiting Kashmir informed of these realities? Would they give a damn if they were? Or were they there to legitimize the occupation & scope out investment possibilities in the new Kashmir?

95,189 people died in mass killings

12,010 cases of rape & molestation

7,000 mass graves

22,882 half widows

107,707 orphaned

8,000 forcibly disappearances

115,356 custodial torture cases

7,116 custodial murders

109,193 structures destroyed



It may be stressful to stay steadfast in solidarity with the oppressed but those on the front lines of resistance–Palestinians, Kashmiris, Indian Muslims, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Somalis, Rohingya, Uyghur, Indigenous tribes & farmers opposing neoliberal plunder, & so many others–are the very hope of humanity. There is a holistic unity to their struggles as there should be a unity forged in solidarity with them.

They have not been targeted because they are weak links but because of their intransigent resistance to injustice, inequality, oppression. Solidarity is not a form of noblesse oblige. It is the iron law of social transformation not just for the oppressed but for all humanity.

How disturbing that so many once antiwar have now turned Iranian terrorist-in-chief General Suleimani into an icon of liberation in Syria & Iraq. Yet they have never uttered a word of protest in defense of civilians being mercilessly bombed by Syria, Russia, & US-NATO, & besieged by Iranian, Hezbollah, & other terrorist groups. They support Russian, Iranian, & Hezbollah intervention against the Syrian Arab Spring & oppose the ‘US regime-change operation’ but have not educated about nor organized protests against murderous US-NATO military intervention. Their primary campaigning is on behalf of the Assad dictatorship & against what they call ‘Russophobia’.

In seeking to understand how this massive political degeneration happened so fast to so many, we only need examine the ideology of Assadism which is rooted in ‘war on terror’ rhetoric, Islamophobia, & anti-Semitism, along with examining the ideology of Stalinism which promotes tyranny & state power & vilifies all popular democratic movements as orchestrated by the CIA & Mossad. The two political currents formed a malignant alliance in Syria & millions of Syrians, Palestinian refugees, Iraqis have paid/are paying an unbearable price.

Stand with Syrians & Iraqis & demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces & mercenaries. Out now!

(Photo is Syrian child in IDP camp. Photographer & date are not identified)

This debate between Norman Finkelstein & Mehdi Hasan on the bantustate (two-state) solution for Palestinians was in 2014 not long after Finkelstein’s political stature tanked for opposing BDS as ‘a cult’ & expressing disdain for Palestinians. In response to a Palestinian at this debate who asked if he was ‘pro-Palestinian’, Finkelstein said, “Absolutely not. I’m pro-justice. I have no interest in Palestine”. He continues to write about Israeli aggression against Palestinians but with such contempt & indifference it’s hard to take anything he says seriously even though he has paid a tremendous price for his criticisms of Israel & his cogent writings on how the holocaust is manipulated by Zionists to promote colonialism.

Finkelstein has continued to decline politically & is now campaigning for Sanders in the US elections whilst promoting Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah in Lebanon, who has terrorist militias in Syria working with Syria, Iran, Russia to destroy the Syrian Arab Spring. Finkelstein, as a Zionist, calls for Israeli self-determination just as Assadists & Stalinists call for self-determination for the Assad regime.

Even though Israeli officials acknowledged that the bantustate solution was never a serious proposal but merely a temporizing ploy, many continue to promote it when it is now clear that Israeli strategy is genocide, not bantustates. This debate is nearly six years old but still quite relevant.

What kind of cognitive dissonance is it when Assadists & Stalinists support terrorism against Syrians & Iraqis (Syrian & Russian bombing, Suleimani death squads, Hezbollah militias, et al) whilst they support & campaign for Bernie Sanders in the US elections? Quite frankly, it’s the kind of dissonance that reeks of white supremacy & Islamophobia.

If I mistook your silence for passive-aggression & unfriended you, please let me know & I will send you a friend request. We all get over-sensitive in stressful times but I can correct such mistakes if you let me know.

It’s not clear where the phrase came from or why Indian media finds it so hypnotic, but going back at least as far as the uprising in 2016 they headline countless articles with ‘Kashmir limping back to normalcy’. A few months back, one journal went rogue & called it ‘inching back to normalcy’. Things look less like Kashmir limping back to normalcy than Indian media stampeding to vapidities for propaganda.